The Effect of Target Position on the Accuracy of Cervical-Spine-Rotation Active Joint-Position Sense.
CONTEXT: The cervical spine can be divided into upper and lower units, each making a different contribution to the magnitude of rotation and proprioception. However, few studies have examined the effect of the cervical-rotation positions on proprioception. OBJECTIVE: To compare cervical-spine rotation active joint-position sense (AJPS) near midrange of motion (mid-ROM; 30°) and near end-ROM (60°). DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Human performance research laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: 53 military helicopter pilots (age 28.4 ± 6.2 y, height 175.3 ± 9.3 cm, weight 80.1 ± 11.8 kg). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A motion-analysis system was used to record cervical-rotation kinematics. Subjects sat in a chair wearing a headband and blindfold. First, they actively rotated the head right or left to a target position (30°/60°), with real-time verbal cues provided by the tester. Subjects held the target position for 5 s and then returned to the start position. After this, they replicated the target position as closely as possible. Five trials were performed in both directions to both target positions (R30/R60/L30/L60). Order of direction/position was randomized. The difference between target and replicated positions was calculated and defined as absolute error (AE), and the mean of 5 trials was used for analyses. Wilcoxon signed-ranks tests were used to compare AJPS at the different target positions (P < .0125 with Bonferroni adjustments). RESULTS: End-ROM AEs were significantly more accurate than mid-ROM AEs (P = .001). CONCLUSION: Cervical-spine-rotation AJPS is more accurate near end-ROM than mid-ROM. Both target positions should be used to examine cervical-spine-rotation AJPS of both the upper and lower units.
Nagai, T; Clark, NC; Abt, JP; Sell, TC; Heebner, NR; Smalley, BW; Wirt, MD; Lephart, SM
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